"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
John 13: 34-35
I am launching a new weekly blog entitled "Hump Day Musings with PB". I hope connecting weekly through this format will help us grow together as a family of faith and give us some food for thought in the middle of the week.
This past Sunday I was given the campground booking receipt for our annual Labor day Mackinac camping trip. It is a trip that I look forward to each year, and it has grown into a sort mini "POG moves north" for the weekend trip as a few families have joined together for campfires, lake front living and fun. Each year as we grow in numbers I am thankful for the time away and the company.
In our family, we have an unspoken rule that when you get to be 6 years of age, you walk the bridge instead of ride in a stroller. It is a long walk, but it is a right of passage that our family is comfortable with and is part of being in the Hegdal clan. This past year, my son Hank was up, having turned 6 in June.
One of the things I look forward each year is when most of us gather at the beginning of the walk and take a group photo (we were doing this long before “selfies” entered into our vocabularies). It is always gratifying as the group of walkers, many decked out in POG wear, embark together on our 5 and a half mile journey across the bridge from St. Ignace to Mackinac. As the walk ensues, people get separated into smaller groups milling among the thousands of other walkers who participate.
Last year, Sage and I walked with Hank. After a while, we had lagged a bit as Hank attempted to “walk” the bridge. There were times when he was enjoying himself, especially greeting the soldiers who line the bridge, giving high fives. There were also times of struggle, when he said he didn’t think he could make it and asked how much further? Throughout it all, Sage really kept his spirits up and I joined in, encouraging and chiding him some. (you can take the football away from the player but you can’t take the mentality away)
After what seemed like an eternity, we reached the crest and were descending down the bridge to the finish line. The last half mile or so we were encouraging Hank that he was almost there, he had almost accomplished the goal! When we were about 200 yards of so he spotted some of his POG family, patiently waiting for him near the finish. To be honest, when I saw them I almost cried. As we edged closer, the look on Hanks face was priceless. When he realized they were waiting for him, his smile broadened as only a 6 year olds could. Then one of those who were waiting said, “we started this together and we are going to finish together”.
POGers, this is exactly the kind of love that Jesus is talking about in the gospel of John quoted above. Taking a cue from the new commandment to love one another, a group of people recognized the value of loving people through the highs, lows, joys and struggles that life presents us with. A love that sticks it out. A love that participates in celebrating milestones in the lives of others. A love that is present and real. A love that encourages and chides. A love that came first to us through God sending us Jesus to model the kind of faith we are called to, expressed in this instance in loving a little boy, a blessed child of God.
I could not feel more fortunate to serve and have my family be part of the fabric that is POG. I am grateful for the ways that the people of POG love one another. I look forward to seeing it for years to come.